Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Getting Your Tang Toungled

Coy-Bow. Sans guns . . . 
My Dad had a speech impediment.
Sometimes, he said things backwards.
Oh, he could control it.
He just chose not to.
An odd trait for someone who was such a stickler for proper pronunciation at all other times.
And don't try to tell me that doesn't have any effect on a young child learning to talk.
For years, I thought the song, Rock-a-Bye Baby went like this:
Rock a bay bybee
On the tee trop.
When the blind woes,
The radle will crock.
When the brough bakes,
The fadle will crawl.
And down will bum caby
Adle and crawl.

You're right. That's not even English. But that's how I thought it went. And Dad said it made just as much sense his way.
I heard some kids singing it the right way and totally confronted them. Our conversation was as follows:
Me: What are you singing?
Them: Rock a Bye Baby.
Me: That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard.
Them: Let's play somewhere else.
As years went by, I realized that we really didn't put the dirty dishes in the washdisher.
Or that salt didn't come out of a shakesalter.
And that my favourite ice cream wasn't scutterbotch.
Others had to find out for themselves.
My nephew, two-year-old Michael was staying with us while his parents prepared to receive his little brother. The imminent arrival scheduled for, at most two weeks, stretched to six, leaving little, impressionable, just-learning-to-speak Michael at the mercy of his grandfather.
It was a happy six weeks . . .
Michael was playing cowboys. And had dressed accordingly.
He had his gun and holster.
His boots.
His overlarge hat.
And his training pants.
He was ready.
Grandpa had just come in from outside and was sitting in his easy chair, waiting for lunch.
Michael stalked up to him in his best 'gunman' style. "Stick 'em up!"
Oh, he was good.
Dad looked at him. "What are you? A coy-bow?"
Okay, for years, I thought that was how it was said . . .
"No, Crumpa, gow-boy!"
"Gow-boy!" He stuck to his guns, so to speak. And his pronunciation.
Dad, one last time. "Coy-bow."
Michael was starting to get a little confused, however. "Gow-pot!"
That's when I broke in. "Michael, do you have to go potty?"
"No! No! Gow-boy!"
Dad laughed. "You're right, Michael, Gow-boy."
Michael had outlasted his grandfather.
A noble feat.
I don't want you to think that my Dad bombarded us with twisted talk all of the time. It was the exception rather than the rule.
And he always correct us afterwards.
But it was fun while it lasted.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Fifty Day #2

The phone rang.

She waited for her slumbering husband to answer, then, disgusted, climbed out and walked around the bed.


“Hon? I went outside for some air and accidentally locked myself out. Could you come open the door?”

Slowly, she turned to look at the still figure lying there.

Today is Fifty Day.

A word challenge from my good friend, Adela of Black Tortoise Press!
The challenge? Write a story in exactly 50 words!
It's more difficult than it sounds. 
But totally fun!
Care to share?
It's easy... Just leave your link in the comments section!

Tuesday, August 17, 2021


Former Maid Hits the Jackpot!

Diane Stringam Tolley, Fiction Reporter

Beaumont —   It’s true. Occasionally, everything just works out!


Daughter of a late, well-respected local businessman, Cindy was raised with wealth but had fallen on hard times.


Though we couldn’t get an interview with the girl, herself, neighbours report that she was unfailingly sweet and cheerful.


She had to work hard, but she did so willingly, her positive attitude a positive inspiration to co-workers.


“She was always so kind to all of us!” said one of her co-orders, known only as ‘Jack’.


“Y-y-yes!” another co-worker, Gus-Gus put in. “Even the new arrivals, like me. She treated us all real special!”


Her co-workers couldn’t comment on the exact order of events that lead to her good fortune, saying only:


“Everyone chipped in to make it possible. We were just so happy to help her. It was well-deserved!”


One co-worker, on condition of anonymity, hinted that Cindy’s life had not been very easy. Citing “Family troubles”.


“Apparently, she didn’t get along with immediate family members,” she said. “A surprise, because she was so sweet!


“We were all quite flabbergasted that she and the other female members of her family experienced such animosity.


“I guess it’s just a fact that not everyone, no matter how kind, gets along with everyone else!”

Apparently there had been a bit of consternation and some hair-pulling over an invitation to a much-anticipated party.


“But Cindy was made of tough stuff and determined to attend, despite hints of ‘unsuitability’ from her relatives.”


Those ‘female relatives’ appeared to have made Cindy’s attendance difficult—even conspiring to ruin a new party dress.


“She was quite distraught,” says our source. “Fortunately, I had the foresight to plan for such an event.


“I was able to provide our girl with something suitable—maybe even superior—as quick as a wink!”


And those efforts certainly paid off. Cindy made quite a remarkable—one could almost say a ‘royal’— impression.


“She had to leave before the party wound down, and in so-doing, lost a personal item or two…


“But still, when answering her co-workers questions, she was glowing with praise for the party and the organizers.”


Praise that she continued to spout, even as her regular work-a-day world was once again thrust upon her.


“I’ve got that in my pocket,” she is quoted as saying. Though some speculate she meant something else.


There was some mention of a dust-up over the return of her belongings by ensigns from party organizers,


But with what she had pocketed, all this was soon sorted and Cindy was quickly on her way.


Now a new life and a new home awaits her—along with a beautiful, budding romance (wink, wink)—


And all this reporter can think to say is: Hooray, Miss Cindy! With your co-workers, I congratulate you!


From cinders to a crown! Surely the stuff of magical fairy tales! Every woman's dream. Well...mine, anyways.

Today’s post is a writing challenge! Each month one of the participating bloggers pick a number between 12 and 50. All bloggers taking part that month are then challenged to write using that exact number of words in their post either once or multiple times. 


This month’s word count number is: 18

It was chosen by: Karen 


At the end of this post you’ll find links to the other blogs featuring this challenge. Check them out!


Baking In A Tornado

Messymimi’s Meanderings

Monday, August 16, 2021

First Day

My good friend Hank had worked a job for most his adult life.
It supported all his family—his children and his wife.
But Hank decided he’d begin with something else this year,
Yes. Even at his age, he’d try and start a new career.

So Hank shed uniform. So happy! Gladly traded for
A job a lot less boring than the one he’d had before.
Yes, Hank became a Taxi driver, certain he would find
His clients much more charming than were those he’d left behind.

His first day started normally, with sunrise and a fare,
He wisely quizzed his passenger, then started off from there.
He caref'ly weaved through traffic, even whistled as he went,
Singing with the radio and feeling most content.

When suddenly a hand reached up and touched him on the arm,
His client had a question. Didn’t mean to cause him harm.
But Hank, he screamed and spun the wheel. Just barely missed a bus,
Scared people on the sidewalk. One or two tossed him a cuss!

When finally stopped, Hank pushed his door and left it there, ajar.
For just a moment, both sat convalescing in the car,
And then a tiny voice spoke up from somewhere in the back.
“I only tapped your arm,” it said. “It wasn’t an attack.

"I merely had a question. I didn't mean to scare!
"If I'd known I'd frighten, I'd have taken greater care!"
"You have to know I'm new," Hank said. "Cab driving? 'Tis my first!
“But you simply need to understand, for years, I drove a hearse!”

New is good, you know, but when beginnings are discussed.
Remember, as you’re switching jobs, good mem'ry is a must.

Photo Credit: Karen of
Cause Mondays do get knocked a lot,
With poetry, we all besought
To try to make the week begin
With gentle thoughts,
Perhaps a grin?
So KarenCharlotteMimi, me
Have crafted poems for you to see.
And now you’ve read what we have wrought…
Did we help?
Or did we not?

Next week? Thrown away or Pinned?
The topic we'll discuss is WIND!

Thinking of joining us for Poetry Monday?
We'd love to welcome you!
Topics for the next few weeks...
Tell a Joke (August 16) Today!
Wind (August 23)
Monsters (August 30)
Shoes (September 6) From Mimi
Defy Superstition Day (September 13) Also from Mimi
Remembering 8-Tracks (September 20) Another Mimi

Sunday, August 15, 2021

My First Best!

Best of Boomer Blogs!

I'm way past excited to be included in this amazing group of bloggers.
I mean, I've been reading them--some for years--but never thought I'd be considered one of them!
Cover your ears and picture my little girl squeal of delight...

And now this week's Best of Boomer Blogs!

Carol Cassara
Never in a million years did Carol Cassara ever think that her ex-fiance's mother would become her best friend. But that is, in fact, what happened and she's sharing that story this week. It appeared a few years ago in one of the Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies.

*  *  *

Laurie Stone
Laurie Stone of Musings, Rants & Scribbles knows the feeling: you spend much of your life thinking something’s wrong. You’re alone a lot, usually with your nose in a book or daydreaming. But then someone puts a label on it, and everything falls into place. You’re an introvert. You’re wired differently. And even better, you realize this trait comes with 6 great benefits

*  *  *

It’s hard to believe 50 years can pass by so fast and for Baby Boomers, we were in high school half a century ago. Rebecca Olkowski with just attended her 50th reunion and was able to see old friends she hung out with then. It’s weird how life takes you down so many different paths and then you come back full circle as if nothing ever changed.

*  *  *
Meryl Baer
Summer means travel. And travel, in many places, means traffic. Meryl Baer of Beach Boomer Bulletin experienced a too-long road trip this past week, as she describes in this week’s post, Summer Road Trip - A Daytime Nightmare.

*  *  *

Rita R. Robison
Since prices on some items are going up, Rita R. Robison, consumer and personal finance journalist, writes on how to cut your expenses. Let’s hope that Jerome Powell, chair of the Federal Reserve, is correct when he says it’s temporary. Powell also says it is transitory, meaning the increased prices aren’t going to go back down right away, they’ll linger.

*  *  *

Born and raised on one of the last of the great old ranches in Southern Alberta, Diane is remembering communication in the phoneless, isolated '50s. It was personal, neighbourly . . . and eye-to-eye.

Thank you for visiting with us today. I hope you enjoyed it as much as we enjoyed bringing it to you!

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Sunshine Award!!!

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My very own Humorous Blogger Award From Delores at The Feathered Nest!

Be Courageous!

Grab and Add!

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